Spiritual growth does not just happen by accident! Growth in virtue and relationship with God takes commitment and practice. Setting a solid foundation through learning about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ helps children to develop spiritually and emotionally. Faith will be an integral aspect of children's daily lives during the early years of growth and development. St. Mary's School strives to teach love, compassion, forgiveness, humanity, selflessness, and respect; values we hold as reflective of Christianity. Here are some of the ways we strive to achieve this:
Our staff gathers for morning prayer every Wednesday morning .
All classes begin with prayer, led by either the teacher or a student.
Our chaplain, Fr. Aaron DiDios is committed to monthly masses.
We use the provincial religious education program 'Alive in Christ' as the resource for our religion programs.
We hold unique prayer services, usually led by our students, that model a variety of ways to pray and help others.
School-wide masses are held every month during the school year; classes rotate fulfilling the mass ministries for monthly masses.
We celebrate mass the Patron Saint of our school, our Mother Mary, every May.
School-wide reconciliation services occur twice per year, one during Advent, and one during Lent.
Staff attends a full day retreat once per year, as well as the annual diocesan teachers’ conference which includes workshops on faith-focused professional development.
Teaching and encouraging faith in young children is one of our most important jobs at St. Mary's. The daily integration and practice of our faith helps make our school a place where children love to come to school and they take pride in upholding the values that are taught through formal lessons and by being given age appropriate responsibility.
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LEADERSHIP & SERVICE
St. Mary's Catholic School is all about developing the whole child. It is also about providing a multitude of opportunities for that to happen. St. Mary's excels at developing leadership in all students. From kindergarten to grade 6, all student's learn to be leaders and public speak in a safe and accepting environment. They become confident and proud knowing that they are successful in speaking in front of others.
St. Mary's creates 'buddy classes' that meet weekly to do faith-based, academic, art, and physical activity. These relationships are retained for the duration of a child's years at the school and they serve to provide a sense of community and responsibility for our older students. Our intermediate student's are taught to care and help their buddies both on and off the playground. The result is a school community that cares and respects each other and are responsibility to each other. According to the BC Ministry of Education ERASE BULLYING program initiatives, having a 'caring' and 'connected' student community, is the number one thing that stops bullying. The second most powerful thing is to have at least adults knowing each child. At St. Mary's, your child will be known by all the teaching staff.
We see our students beyond the academics. We see them as valuable individuals with a host of gifts and talents. It is our hope that these gifts and talents can be brought out in all our students so that they grow into the knowledge that they can individually make an impact on the world in all that they do. This ultimately creates young people who see themselves as leaders and instills in them the desire to use their skills and talents to give back to the community that has nurtured them.
All students are asked to do mission work as a class and as an individual. This can take the form of praying for someone, volunteering one's time, or doing an act of kindness.
Without a doubt, choosing a Catholic Education at St. Mary's School makes a difference.
WHY CATHOLIC EDUCATION
Do Catholic schools matter? How can a Catholic school compete?
By most standards, the kids that enter the public school system eventually leave it quite satisfied. And when you add in the many non-religious or private academies available you have to admit that there are many different choices when it comes to education.
And don’t forget home-schooling. It may be time consuming but what other alternative gives a parent total control over their child’s educational development from within the safety of their own home?
Just beyond the doors of our churches and our homes, the world waits. The popular culture of today is more dismissive and hostile towards Catholic teaching than ever. And as much as we would like to wish otherwise we can’t escape the reality that exists: It’s tough out there for Catholics and if we’re going to
preserve and strengthen our faith we’re going to need all the help we can get. We’ll need our families, we’ll need our churches and we will most definitely need our schools.
No other educational choice offered can duplicate the communal academic environment rooted in Catholic theology and belief that Catholic schools can. Every day, our students attend classes under a “cloak of Christ,” simultaneously living in the world but remaining protected from the harsh storms of its failings. The sort of spiritual “safe habour” this provides will only increase their chances at leading happy, moral and peaceful lives in love and service to God.
Does it cost more? Yes, public funding is minimal, but its absence allows our schools the freedom to ensure that Catholic morals infuse the school curriculum. It’s a small price to pay to have God in our classrooms.
Our diocesan schools adhere to, and often exceed, all provincially-mandated educational standards. Together, they offer an experience in academics, the arts and athletics that is second to none. Our teachers and administrators are caring and talented professionals who work hard to model Catholic principles and teaching in their own lives each and every day.
Our community is only as strong as those inside it, and the more of us that unite together in Catholic education, the better our schools will become. If you have children or grandchildren that do not currently attend one of our BC Catholic schools please consider doing so.
Do Catholic schools matter? Only if our Faith does, and when you really think about it, that kind of says it all.